I went on my first diet 40 years ago when I was 15. It was the grapefruit diet, and to this day, I can’t taste grapefruit without it turning my stomach. Since then, there’s been Atkins, Pritikin, several rounds with Weight Watcher’s, OA, Weight Loss Clinic, LA Weight Loss, Seattle Sutton’s, and Jenny Craig. They were all successful. I lost hundreds of pounds. And gained it all back. I finally realized that diets don’t work long-term. Long-term change requires a change in life-style, and a constant vigilance to maintain new habits.

And so it is with house cleaning. I always thought that I could do one big purge and things would stay in order. And they do, for a little while. But I fall back into my old ways of shopping too much, and collecting too many pretty things, and never finding a home for them in my house. I procrastinate putting things away after using them. I buy another (insert item here) when I can’t find the one (or two, or three) I already have, because the clutter has grown too deep.

I have gotten rid of 118 boxes, bags and pieces of furniture, and the house is still cluttered and a smidge messy, especially between my BFF “T”s cleaning days. So, as I haul more things off to the Goodwill, I must remind myself not to shop to fill up the newly empty spaces. I need to put the clean laundry away, and straighten out the dresser drawers as I do. I have to put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, not just on the counter. I am changing my life-style, not just cleaning my house. That takes a lot of little changes. New habits to be practiced day after day after day. I can do this. I AM doing this.

Just, please, please, keep me away from grapefruits.

Stay tuned…